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Stratigraphy and development of the Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene Hawke’s Bay forearc basin

A Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentary succession about 2 500 m thick in the Hawke’s Bay forearc basin is the focus of a basin analysis. The area under investigation covers 3 500 km2 of western and central Hawke’s Bay. The stratigraphy of Hawke’s Bay Basin is characterised by dramatic vertical and lateral facies changes and significant fluxes of siliciclastic sediment through the Late Miocene and Pliocene. This project aims to better understand the character and origin of the sedimentary succession in the basin. Geological mapping has been undertaken at a scale of 1:25000, with data managed in an ARCINFO geodatabase, following the database model employed in the IGNS QMap programme. Along the western margin of the basin there is progressive southward onlap of late Cenozoic strata on to basement. The oldest units are of Late Miocene (Tongaporutuan) age and the youngest onlap units are of latest Pliocene (Nukumaruan) age. Geological mapping of the basin fill places constraints on the magnitude (about 10 km) and timing (Pleistocene) of most of the offset on the North Island Shear Belt. Lithofacies have been described and interpreted representing fluvial, estuarine, shoreface and inner- to outer-shelf environments. Conglomerate facies are representative of sediment-saturated prograding fluvial braidplains and river deltas. These units are dominated by greywacke gravels and record the erosion of the Kaweka-Ahimanawa Ranges. Sandstone facies typically comprise very well sorted, clean non-cemented units of 10-50 m thickness that accumulated in innershelf environments. Siltstone facies probably accumulated in relatively quiet, middle- to outer-shelf water depths, and comprise well-sorted, firm non-cemented units with occasional tephra interbeds. Limestone facies represent examples of continent-attached cool-water carbonate systems that developed in response to strong tidal currents and a high nutrient flux during the Pliocene. These facies are examples of mixed siliciclastic-bioclastic sedimentary systems. Of these facies the widespread distribution and thickness of sandstone and limestone units present the most potential for hydrocarbon reservoirs. Similarly, the distribution of siltstone and mudstone beds provides adequate seal rocks. Mangapanian limestone facies have already been targeted as potential petroleum reservoirs (e.g. Kereru-1). Geological mapping suggests that potential hydrocarbon reservoir and seal rocks occur extensively in the subsurface.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Bland, K. J., Kamp, P. J. J. & Nelson, C. S. (2004). Stratigraphy and development of the Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene Hawke’s Bay forearc basin. In Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2004, 7 – 10 March, Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington.
Ministry of Economic Development
This article has been published in Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2004, 7 – 10 March. © 2004 K. J. Bland, P. J. J. Kamp & C. S. Nelson.